Editor’s note: David Roberts is a senior communications major who pitched for the Long Beach State Dirtbags for two seasons before being drafted in Major League Baseball’s First-Year Player Draft. Roberts was a fourth round draft pick (141st overall selection) by the Cleveland Indians.
The day had finally come: June 5, 2008. I had been waiting anxiously, pacing around my roommate Danny Espinosa’s house, waiting to have my name pop up on the board and continue with my hopes and dreams of becoming a Major League Baseball player.
That day, the Cleveland Indians decided to make me their fourth round pick and 141st player selected overall. Unfortunately the journey isn’t over, it has only just begun.
I was shipped out to Niles, Ohio to make my professional debut with the Mahoning Valley Scrappers, the short-season Low-A team.
My first pro ball season was pretty rough to be honest, from all the travel and bad hotels and worse food. I was playing baseball everyday so I couldn’t complain too much, but it was much more exhausting than I thought it was going to be.
My role was the setup man and sometimes the closer for the team, just like it was when I played for the Dirtbags. Well not so much the closer, but nonetheless, I was comfortable in that role. The short season ended in early September and I was excited to get back to California and relax.
When I got back to California, I had to get ready for the fall semester of my fourth year. Little did I know it would be a lot more difficult than I thought.
I missed the first week of school and hit the ground running when I got back, but came to an abrupt halt when I got back from Goodyear, Ariz. I left to participate in the instructional league during the first three weeks of October, which is more of a camp with a few games here and there for prospects.
Balancing school and baseball has been a tough task, and I think I will steer away from it next fall. I can focus more on what my job and my passion is so I can meet the Indians’ expectations of what they have in store for me, and some of my own.
My future is uncertain with the Indians and I like it that way. What I do know is that I leave in March for my first spring training and I am looking forward to it. I have high hopes and goals and I think the Indians do, also. I’ll keep in touch as my journey to my dream continues.